Tonight, before dinner, Henry slid into the kitchen like it was home plate. He lay splayed on the floor and shouted, “I feel low.” Then he groaned, “I feeeeel looooooooooooow.”
He started a new vial of insulin yesterday, so we’d been on the lookout for lows. In fact, we increase his ratio so that he gets 10% less insulin on the first days of new insulin.
Just a couple of minutes prior, his Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) read 128, with an arrow straight across. Now the CGM read 83 with one arrow down. I can count on one hand the number of times Henry’s told me he felt low. Like many pediatric people with type 1 diabetes, he has hypoglycemic unawareness. If he was telling me he felt low, then I knew he was low, low, low.
I gave him a glucose tab before checking his blood glucose, then wiped his finger, tested his blood, and during the four second countdown Henry asked, “What do you think it will be? 21?”
Here’s my four-year-old son, guessing his blood sugar during hypoglycemia. It’s moments like this that slay me as I walk the diabetes tightrope that is anchored to the wind.
“Let’s hope not,” I said. “21 would be very low.”
“What if it’s 12? Would 12 be bad?” he asked.
“Yes, 12 would be too low,” I said.
“43! Mama, I’m 43.”
Henry ate two more glucose tabs and sat in my lap as he sweated through a shirt. But sure enough, the sugar started surging and he glided up to 61 then 124. The low left him ravenous, so he ate dinner in five minutes. Then after dinner (and insulin for dinner) this:
Here’s the irony. The only thing that’s going to bring down 314 is more really potent, new insulin— the same thing that caused the 43.